The six-week World Superbike summer break is over. Five rounds remain in the final stretch of 13 rounds, and that stretch begins with the Prosecco DOC German SBK round at Eurospeedway Lausitz in Lausitzring.Following are the fast facts ahead of Germany WorldSBK.
1. Last year the World Superbike Championship returned to Eurospeedway Lausitz in Lausitzring for the first time since 2007. The only rider with experience there was Josh Brookes. Rain plagued last year’s round, and taking the race-one was Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies. Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea won race two.2. As Kawasaki ZX-10RR pilot Rea chases a third-straight title, the Northern Irishman has the points lead with 341—59 ahead of teammate Tom Sykes. Rea has finished on the podium 15 out of 16 times so far in eight rounds, which includes 9 wins.3. Rea was strong during a mid-summer test at the 2.64-mile circuit containing 14 corners. Following the test, Rea said: “After last year it was very valuable to test here at the Lausitzring. We were able to do some functional tests for KHI and also evaluate some ideas for chassis and front suspension set up. The weather changed after lunch, which brought the curtain down on our test – but we knew it was coming. We were able to evaluate all the items in the plan before then thanks to Pere’s good planning. Yesterday we were also able to run a race simulation and it’s great to see that we have improved the overall base of the bike compared to last year.”4. Sykes finished on the podium 13 out of 16 times, including two wins. The 2013 WorldSBK Champion finished 2-12 last season in Germany, and will also benefit from some summer testing there.5. The home favorite is Red Bull Honda World Superbike’s Stefan Bradl, who has struggled with the CBR1000RR SP2 during his debut season in World Superbike. His best finish so far was sixth in Assen, and he is now 13th in points with 64. Davide Giugliano will fill the vacancy left by the late Nicky Hayden on the other factory SP2.6. In third with 226 points is Davies, who continues to recover from a Misano race two crash. The Welshman has four wins under his leathers so far, and is looking to gain some additional momentum in Lausitzring. Davies says: “Last year, at Lausitzring, it was a really good weekend for us. We had great pace in the dry and we hit a turning point from there. During this summer’s test in Germany we were pretty fast as well. We also managed to ride in the wet, which is quite important, and we did some pretty respectable lap times in these conditions. We still need to confirm a couple of things we usually define over the race weekend, but in general I felt comfortable and I’m quite happy with the work that we did. So, I’m looking forward to get back on the Panigale R on a track that I enjoy. Of course it’s bumpy, but if offers different challenges compared to other circuits. You can actually find lines around the bumps at Lausitzring. I’m excited ahead of the second part of the season, we’ll take it race by race, as always, and we’ll see what happens.”7. Davies teammate Melandri is fourth in points with 189. The Italian claimed his first win of 2017 since returning to WSBK at Misano (race two), and tested at the Lausitzring track during the July test.8. Another rider to look out for at Germany WorldSBK is Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK’s Alex Lowes. The Brit has scored two podiums this season aboard the Yamaha YZF-R1, and is coming off a dominate Suzuka 8 Hours victory. Lowes is currently fifth in points with 148.9. Rounding out the top 10 in points with five rounds remaining are:
Xavi Rofes, Ducati 1199 Panigale R: 132
Micheal van der Mark, Yamaha YZF-R1: 129
Leon Camier, MV Agusta F4: 99
Jordi Torres, BMW S 1000 RR: 94
Eugene Laverty, Aprilia RSV4: 89
10. The German round of 2017 World Superbike gets underway with free practice on Friday, August 18, followed by qualifying and race 1 on Saturday, August 19, and race two on Sunday, August 20. beIN Sports will broadcast the races here in the states; check with beIN for times (TBA).
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.